Coronavirus pushes Bond to autumn release

Festivals also cancelled as precaution

by Amber Wilkinson

The release date of James Bond movie No Time To Die has been pushed from spring to autumn because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The 25th instalment of the franchise was due in UK cinemas on April 3 before opening a week later in the US. Now it will not open until November 25. The news comes hot on the heels of popular James Bond fan sites MI6 Confidential and The James Bond Dossier writing an open letter calling for the release date to be delayed. It read: "It is time to put public health above marketing release schedules and the cost of cancelling publicity events."

Announcing the postponement on Twitter, the official James Bond account wrote: "MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, announced today that after careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace, the release of No Time To Die will be postponed until November 2020."

Bond is not the first mainstream movie to be affected by the outbreak, as the shooting of the latest instalment of Mission: Impossible - due to be filmed on location in Venice, Italy, - was also put on hold last week due to the outbreak.

Covid-19 has also been causing ripples in the industry more widely. Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in Greece, which had been due to start this week, announcing its postponment, with the hope of rescheduling it for late May or early June.

In a cancellation statement, the organisers wrote: "The safety of the working staff, the audience, the city’s residents and the festival’s guests from both Greece and abroad are our top-notch priority."

Berlin Film Festival also had reduced attendance from Chinese industry players, with the European Film Market - which runs at the same time as the festival - saying up to 120 people had cancelled.

Switzerland’s International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) has also been cancelled following the decision by Switzerland’s Federal Council to ban gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

With Cannes due to start on May 12 and other spring film festivals including CHP:DOX and Tribeca before that, it is a nervous time for organisers.

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